Fostering housing affordability and creating a more equitable economy by regulating our seasonal and short-term vacation rentals.
San Juan County consistently ranks as the least affordable county in Washington according to the Housing Affordability Index, with a $170,000 gap between what the average person in San Juan County can afford and the average price of a home. The lack of affordable housing creates an on-island workforce shortage in many industries, including education, food service businesses, retail businesses, mental health, counseling, health care, and more. As of January 2019, at least 149 individuals in San Juan County were living in or at risk of homelessness. The number one issue relating to homelessness in the islands is reportedly the lack of available affordable housing. The connection between housing insecurity and the accelerating short-term vacation rental market must be addressed through proactive policy.
San Juan County’s 2019 update to its Five-Year Homeless Plan embraces the following housing value: every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and empowered in their own journey and path to a safe, stable life. Let’s make this a reality!
Take Action Now:
- Support the efforts of the Vacation Rental Working Group
- Send a letter to the San Juan County Council requesting that the immediately impose a moratorium on new vacation rental permits
- Request that the San Juan County Council immediately consider a county ordinance the will create more long-term rental housing through limiting the total number of vacation rental